Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Gang wars

All right, that's it. I have decided to confess everything about my gang in school.

There were two gangs in my class. If you drew a line right through the middle of the classroom floor, all those sitting to the left of the teacher were in my gang, and those on the right of the teacher were under the Other Gangleader -- let's call him OG here.

We were both referred to as 'Bhai' (brother).
Both of us had a right-hand henchperson each. Mine was a guy, his was a girl. All new students were given the option of joining either gang. Of course, there were people who did not want to be part of either gang initially, but soon they gave up and had to pick one. And the protection. For the perks.

The set of gang rules were the same for OG's and mine. Here are some of the rules (whatever I can remember now) that every gang member had to swear by:

- Thou shalt not help a member of the other gang with homework.
- Thou shalt not sit next to a member of the other gang, in the classroom or in the school bus.
- Thou shalt not even dream of sharing thy lunch with a member of the other gang.
- Thou shalt try everything in thy power to induct new students who join the class into thy gang.
- Thou shalt not nudge a sleeping member of the other gang in the Hindi class when the teacher spots him/her. In fact, thou shalt do all thee can to make the sleeping person more conspicuous to the teacher.
- Thou shalt not talk to a member of the other gang, except during inter-gang meetings, held for the sole purpose of sorting out problems in a peaceful manner.
- Thou shalt never smile at a member of the other gang.
- Thou shalt, by hook or crook, take revenge on any teacher who punishes a member of thy gang.
- Thou shalt always pick up a fight with seniors who take panga with members of thy gang.

Life was going on. Everyone was happy. But destiny had other plans. One fine day, my moronic henchman woke up and fell in love with OG's henchgirl. And the moronic henchgirl liked him back! That was it -- all hell broke loose. OG and I could not control the other members of the gang as they questioned our lack of authority and control over our own henchpeople. All members started breaking rules. Finally, OG and I, united due to our common situation, sat down and had a long long discussion. On some level, for the first time, we connected. And the two 17-year-olds made a serious decision. A merger. With joint ownership.

The two gangs became one.

Everyone became friends!

And that's how things stopped being fun.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Sister act

My sister and I have always been total opposites of each other.

When she was two, she wreaked havoc in the house with her inexhaustible energy.
When I was two, I was extremely well-behaved and mostly silent.

When she was six, she was extremely well-behaved and mostly silent.
When I was six, I wreaked havoc in the house with my inexhaustible energy.

When she was eight, she would be at home drawing and painting pretty pictures.
When I was eight, I would be out climbing trees and bashing up boys of the neighbourhood.

When she was ten, she listened as people around her told her that she would be perfect in the arts field.
When I was ten, I listened as people around me told me that I would be perfect in the technical field.

When she was 22, she over-rode her first degree with a software design degree.
When I was 22, I over-rode my first degree (the damned engineering one) with my editorial job.

Now she's the one doing the technical stuff. She's programming.
Now I am the one doing the arty stuff. I am writing and drawing.

Last but not the least, she lives in the west. I live in the east.
My 10 am is her 10 pm.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Sound of music

Watched a performance by the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Esplanade with Starbreez yesterday. I realised that the amazing thing about watching an orchestra playing is that even though I was just seated silently, there was a lot of activity going on inside my head.

As the 100 odd musicians played the fast compositions, I felt myself struggling to keep up with the amazing ups and downs in the music and the variations made to the piece by the cellos, basses, oboes, flutes, clarinets, violins, harps, bassoons, tubas, piano, trumpets and many other instruments, some of which I had never seen in my life before.

And when they played the slower pieces, it felt as if I was in a raft bobbing gently on a stream. And just as looking at moving water does to me, I got reflective. I started thinking about all the things that this blog is about.
Life. Love. Family. Friends. Me.

What music can do to you is so amazing.

I miss my university musical band. The last time I sang on stage was in 2001.

And now I don't sing anymore. I want to but I don't.


Saturday, May 28, 2005

Of killjoys and killsorrows

Friday night. Almost perfect. Well, Bar None is always perfect. The band 9Lives is always perfect. And then Addy, the guy who is perfection personified (though he may disagree) acknowledges my entry with a smile and a nod in the middle of his song. It was too perfect to last, I suppose.

Later, as we chatted with the keyboardist of 9Lives, he broke the news to us. 9Lives is breaking up. Sunday is their last performance at Bar None. The band's breaking up 'cos the members want to do their own thing. Do their own thing. Sigh.

I am too depressed for words. Just when I thought I had found the perfect bar with the perfect band with the perfect band members who played the perfect music. As I sat there, my face giving away my true feelings, one of my friends said, "Bands break up all the time. These things happen. It's normal."

Now I call this a classic case of 'killsorrow'. Just like killjoys, who spoil your joys and enthusiasm with statements such as "Oh you didn't know this???" or "What's so great about that?" or "I always knew that!", there are killsorrows. Killsorrows lurk everywhere around you, and their mission in life is to not let you grieve in peace.

My favourite band is breaking up, I am upset and I just want to be sad about it.

Killsorrows of the world, stay away from me at this point. I don't need your sappy happy optimistic idealistic high-horse crap right now.

Just let me be.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

No skirts!

My 11-year-old tuition kid sent me an sms message when I was at work. She asked me if it was possible to bring the next day's lesson forward to that day. My immediate thoughts were, "Oh no, I can't go today. I'm wearing a skirt! And there is no time to go home and change!"

There are some things I just wouldn't do. Like wearing a skirt to tuition. Whenever I go for tuition, I make sure my legs are fully covered. Skirts, especially short ones, are out of the question! Totally. Yep, I don't even plan what to wear to work, but I do plan what to wear when I go to teach. And I would never ever wear a skirt to tuition. I wouldn't. I wouldn't. I just wouldn't.


To set a fine moral example for a little girl at an impressionable age?

You think?


Here's the thing -- she has a dog and it likes to jump around and lick random ankles it encounters.


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Surprise surprise!

Tragicomix asked: A post at 4:32 am?
Sayesha replied: Yupp, got up really early today. For a good reason. Will talk about it in my next blog post :)

So here goes...

Today I gave someone a real surprise. Not the kind that you know is coming, but pretend to be surprised anyway. But the real kind. That kind that throws you off.

A friend of mine just got married. (Yes, another one. Stop grinning, weird hair Anil!) I went to receive him and his wife at the airport this morning. The flight landed at 5:30 am, and so I had to get up really early. At the airport, I passed him his house keys (he had authorised me to pick up his keys from his agent in his absence). The couple took a cab and headed home with all their luggage, not knowing what was in store for them.

What he did not know was that I was the one who had shrewdly convinced him to authorise me to pick up his keys from his agent. 'Cos it was all part of a master plan I had in mind.

When I had gone to pick up the keys, the old tenant was still living there, and the house was really messy and dirty. There was old stuff lying all over the place. I made a study of the place and listed things that would make it live up to its potential. So I, along with another friend, took up the task of making the place livable. We got my maid to spruce up the place and make it sparkling clean. We bought stuff that they would need and redecorated the place. Moved the couch and the coffee table, and removed the multi-coloured carpets, to make the area look more spacious. Took off weird things that the old tenant had on the walls. The idea was to make the place unrecognisable for him. Errr... in a good way.

Last night, we put the finishing touches. New bedsheets, pillows, cushions and covers. Flowers in the rooms. Food in the kitchen. And here's the best part -- we put post-it notes with all kindsa weird and funny messages ALL over his house! You name it, we had it! In the shoe rack, inside the fridge, on the TV, inside the closet, on the doors, on the toilet covers, on the bathroom mirrors, on glasses, every possible place imaginable! The post-it notes were everywhere!

I particularly remember this huge picture frame of 2-3 babies on his wall which I found irritably tacky. It was too huge to be taken down. So I put a post-it on it, "If this picture is still here when I visit you guys next, I shall disown both of you."

My friend had some funny ideas too. We had bought some snacks for the couple, and the post-it on it said, 'Snakes for you'. I found that incredibly funny! :)

I had been planning this for the last one month. Yesterday, I was so excited I couldn't wait! It was totally worth the sleep I lost last night.

Today, the flood of sms messages I received from them as they discovered more stuff and more post-it notes in their house, totally made my day. In spite of me barely being able to open my eyes to read them.

Never realised giving someone a surprise can give one such a high.

And yes, sometimes it is so cool not to be there to see the look on your 'surprisee's' face. Try it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Funny forward

Some email forwards are so terribly funny.

Yesterday I received one. Guess who it was from? My university. Amazing, isn't it? Didn't think my university was capable of sending funny stuff to its alumni. Maybe it was a part of a new 'reach-out-to-the-younger-generation' strategy. Well, it seemed to work. I was laughing hours later, just thinking about it.

The email was an invitation to all alumni to attend 'A Workshop on Advanced RF Circuit Design and Manufacturing/ Workshop on Jamming Mitigation Techniques for Spread Spectrum Communication Systems'.

Hahahahaha! Like real.

Some things just find their way to where they belong. I found this in my junk mail folder.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Is the whole freakin' world hinting or what??

Friend of mine (let's call her Z here) is getting married. Yesterday I met up with her after a long long time.

While we were having dinner, we bumped into two friends from university who were there with coupla other people (let's call them X and Y).

The introductions went thus:

"X, Y, this is Z. She's getting married."

"Z, these are X and Y. They just got married."

"X, Y, this is Sayesha. Sayesha is a... (pause)... cool female... (pause)... editor... (pause)"

Cool... female... editor????

Since when did friends run out of words to introduce me??
Just because I don't fall in the 'married' or the 'getting married' category...

Later, Z and I went to a coffee place where we bumped into another group of people I see almost every week, two of whom are married. To each other. I announced the news of Z's wedding to them.

Round of congratulations later, we were ready to leave.

"Bye guys, catch you later!" I said.

"Bye! All the best!" came the reply.

All the best? All the best??? For what??

Whatever happened to good old "See you!"??

Sunday, May 22, 2005

'My' things

I regularly lend my Bollywood movies to people at work 'cos I believe that good things in life, such as my favourite Hindi movies are meant to be shared with the whole world.

Had a sitcom/movie marathon with friends from work this afternoon. Starbreez returned the last two movies I had lent her, and borrowed a couple more. Lately, she seems particularly excited about Bollywood as is obvious in her latest post. We watched parts of the movies that she liked, went through the deleted scenes (I translated the dialogues for her as there were no subtitles), discussed the actors, the director, and whatever there was to be discussed about the movies.

And as I rocked my mental Bollywood database and disseminated the information, I
suddenly felt this renewed sense of adoration and pride for Bollywood. For Shah Rukh. For Karan Johar. For the emotions that flow freely in Hindi movies. Suddenly, they were all 'mine', and I was excitedly telling the 'others' about 'my' things.

I could not help but wonder -- why do we appreciate 'our' things more when someone else gets excited about them?

Why does my blue dress seem nicer than I thought it was when someone says, "Wow, nice dress!"?

Why do my parents appear cooler when my friends say, "Your parents are so cool!"?

Why does my job seem more amazing when someone says, "You have such an amazing job!"?

I suppose familiarity breeds contempt. But today was an eye opener. I think I am going to appreciate 'my' things a bit more from now on.

To family, to friends, to my hobbies, to things I own, to things I like -- if I had not expressed this earlier, I wanna do so now.

You rock my world.

Sayesha in Orchard Road

Orchard Road brings out the dumbest side of me. Frankly speaking, I think it has too many landmarks. I get so completely and hopelessly lost in Orchard Road, that it's almost ridiculous. Seven years in Singapore and I still dread having to go there alone.

Here's a list of dumb things I have said/thought in/about Orchard road.

- "Hmmm... so which side of the road am I supposed to take the bus from?"
(For people who don't live in Singapore, and are wondering why this is so funny, Orchard road is a one-way road.)

- "Ummm... why don't we just meet at City Hall instead?"

- (Inside Isetan) "Hmmm... I took a right where the pink skirt was hanging. Oh my god, what if someone bought it while I was shopping in the other section? Oh my god! I'll never be able to get out of Isetan!"

- "Can we just meet at City Hall instead?"

- "Hello, Naari? I need help. I am at Orchard. Am facing Borders. Behind me is... well, I dunno what's behind me. So I'm facing Borders. Now how do I get home??"

- "Ok those directions sound too complicated. Just meet at City Hall, man!"

- "Errr... you wanna meet at Lido? Umm... I have a better plan! How about we meet at the MRT and then walk to Lido together

- "I know! Let's just meet at City Hall!"

- "Meet at Forum shopping mall?? Wadda hell is dat? You mean they came up with another landmark?? The morons!!"

- "Ummm yeah, I'm just gonna go to City Hall, whether you turn up or not."

Friday, May 20, 2005

Indecent proposal

Sayesha gets a call on her mobile phone at work.

Sayesha - "Hello?"

Voice at other end - "One hour how much?"

Sayesha - "Excuse me??????"

Voice at other end - "I asked -- one hour how much?"

Sayesha - "What do you mean -- one hour how much?????"

Voice at other end - "I heard about you. One hour how much?"

Sayesha - "You heard about me? Heard what?"

Visions of a Sayesha lookalike, engaged in dubious activities flashed across the real Sayesha's mind.

Voice at other end - "That you give Science tuition. One hour how much?"

Sayesha - "Ohhhhhhhhhh!! Phew. Ummm... I only teach one kid. Sorry."

Voice at other end - "Hmmm.. okay. But one hour how much?"

Sayesha - "Errr... 25 bucks."

Voice at other end - "Okay!"

Sayesha - "Errr.. okay!"

Sayesha hangs up, but can't get rid of the indescribable expression she has on her face.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

All excited!

Sometimes completely unrelated things can provoke thoughts.

I noticed a suprise visitor at the outdoor mandap of my cousin's wedding in India. I could not help my excitement and took a picture of the very surprised frog.

Later I showed it to one of my cousins and said, "Dekh, shaadi par mendhak aaya tha!!!" (Look, a frog came to the wedding!!!)

He paused, looked at the photograph, paused again, gave me the strangest look ever and said, "Tell me something, crazy sis of mine. Is there anything in the world that does NOT get you all excited?"

"Of course there is!" I exclaimed.

"Oh yeah? Like what?"

"Like... errr... ummmm..... let me think...."

It took me a month. But I think I have finally managed to think of the answer.

Programming languages!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Detox diet

I follow a detox diet once a week. Fruits and water only. Dinner is the first and last meal of the day. It gives me a sense of peace and calm. I know it's all in the head, but as long as it works, who cares.

On days that I follow the detox diet, I refrain from being the ultra-hyperactive-Sayesha I am otherwise known as. Reason? I do not want to spend all my energy monkeying around, and then feel so weak that I faint of hunger/fatigue. I try to conserve my energy so it lasts me till dinner. I am quieter. I even control my laughing and do not let it reach the insane levels it does on usual days.

But sometimes, really funny things happen at work. Like today.

A full-day course on 'Cost cutting and budget management' was cancelled as a cost cutting measure.

I think I laughed like a hyena.

No wonder I feel so weak.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Would you like to try it on?

Every few months, I go through my entire wardrobe and give away 10% of my clothes to either Salvation Army or to the cleaner in my building. Saturday was one of those days.

As I was sorting through the clothes, I decided to play a game. "Sayesha, find the oldest piece of clothing you have, and try and remember what was happening in your life in the days when you bought it."

I found something I had bought way back in university. It's a pair of black motivation trousers. No, they are not called motivation trousers -- I call them motivation trousers. For the lost and the blur, motivation clothes are clothes that don't quite fit you, but you buy them on purpose in order to get into them some day. Not just get into them, but get into them and look good.

So there they were, my black motivation trousers. Suddenly the whole Sayesha-loses-weight phase of my life flashed in front of my eyes. The trousers fit me fine now. I've been wearing them for a few years now. But if I hadn't played the game, I wouldn't have remembered their interesting origin.

Actually, on some levels, I think I still buy motivation clothes.
Do you?

Monday, May 16, 2005


Happenings in Sayesha's life today:

- Lack of sleep and appetite make Sayesha a very quiet person today.

- Boss asks Sayesha to give him a deadline by which Sayesha absolutely needs new editors in her team to handle the ever growing list of subjects and books she is in charge of. Sayesha replies, "Yesterday". Now he uses it in every third sentence he says to Sayesha.

- A friend of Sayesha's goes to sleep with his head on his keyboard. The result? Sayesha gets an email with "qiuhzkjs kjhklsh mdkjoiu dkjhHLsjhb Bskj Jnbd adlkjhh Mdbdka hdlHJGSskd" repeated a couple of hundred times over. Sayesha sends him a few silent curses.

- Anonymous commentator on Sayesha's blog discloses his identity over email. Sayesha is a bit shocked to learn that. Sayesha had blogged about him very recently.

- Sayesha sees the sign 'Closed for repairs' at the swimming pool of her apartment when she returns from work. She says, "Awwww... shucks!" in her best rehearsed disappointed tone as if she really had plans to swim today.

- Sayesha's tuition kid gets good marks in the mid-year exam. Kid's mother rewards kid by saying, "No tuition this week!" Sayesha wonders if that implies that her tuition classes are such a torture...

- Sayesha hears on the news that DDLJ completes 500 weeks in a theatre in India where it has been continuously playing for the last 10 years. Reaffirms her belief that nothing rocks like Bollywood does.

- Sayesha vows to pick up her singing and sketching from where she had left them years ago.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

May I have your unique identity, please?

A friend of mine was telling me about a documentary she saw about a group of people who had gone snorkelling in the middle of the ocean. There was a shark alarm and everyone was bundled back into the boat and taken ashore.

Everyone, except one.

Someone had been forgotten. And he was remembered only after the others had reached the shore.

Apparently, the guy was forgotten because he did not have an 'identity', an 'image' that would make people remember him. Others did. One was the funny one in the group. Another was the guy with the big beard. All of them had a unique identity. Except this guy, who perhaps perished in the sea just because he did not have a unique image.

The moral of the story, as depicted by the documentary was that when you're in a group, make sure you have an image, a unique identity, so that in times of crisis, you are not forgotten. It can even be something ridiculous that you say or do. Someone or the other is bound to wonder, "Hey, where's the short guy?" or "Hey, where's the guy who sings?" or "Where's the guy who feeds the fish every day?" or "Where's the guy with the weird hair?" or "Where's the guy who laughs like a madman?"

And as I heard the story, I wondered, "Do I (and other people I know) have a unique image and identity? Will someone remember to call us if we are snorkelling in the middle of the ocean and there is a shark alarm?

And if yes, what is my unique identity?

Hmmm... xiao char bor (Hokkien for 'crazy girl'), perhaps...?

What's yours?

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Aunty, ah!

I enter the lift, and my neighbour's maid is standing inside, holding a chihuahua. The chihuahua jumps from her arms and makes a dash for my ankles. I panic and look around at the lift walls, wishing I were spiderman or something. The maid tries to calm the hyperactive chihuahua.

She says, "Come back, come back. It's only aunty."


What the....???!!!

That's why Frodo rocks. He never insists on being my nephew.

Friday, May 13, 2005

A complete day

What a complete day.

Managed to finish some crucial stuff at work, something that I'd been working really hard on, this entire week. Re-established contact with an old friend from my university musical band. Had a heart-to-heart about the times he used to play the guitar and I used to sing. Those were the days...

And Sinnerman's back from Legolas' wedding! Met him and a coupla friends for dinner, and realised how peaceful and great it felt to be in familiar company, sharing mindless jokes and the usual meaningless guys vs gals debates.

Dinner was at Esmirada at Orchard. Apparently, the restaurant used to have the Greek tradition of breaking a coupla plates after dinner. I got very excited when I heard about this, and I really wanted to break some plates. We asked one of the waiters if they were gonna have the breaking plates thing, and he said, "I cannot tell you whether we'll have it or not." And he quickly cleared our plates! The moron! I could have broken a few on his head!

Anyway, my Friday night was rendered complete by Addy, the super talented singer and guitarist of the band 9Lives at Bar None. A mere smile of recognition from him was enough to make me ultra happy. He even asked me where I'd been all this while. I requested for his popular rendition of 'The reason' by Hoobastank. He convinced the band to play it even though they usually don't do this song early in the evening. That was so cool of him! And as he sang, "I'm not a perfect person" I could not help but think to myself, "What are you talking about, dude? You ARE a perfect person!" Haha.. On a serious note, I think it is indeed great that this guy who's so talented, is yet so down to earth. I'm getting withdrawal symptoms already, gotta go back there next week!

And when I came back home, I saw this comment on my previous blog post, followed the link and found this! Apparently this person is jealous of me and hates me! Dude, Virdi, thanks for all the compliments but don't hate me, man! I worked very hard for all of it. Well, except for the hand maybe! :P

Don't curse God saying that He gave me more than He gave you. I have my share of pain in life too. I just like to make a bigger deal of the happy stuff. :)

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The letter

Dear kid,

I noticed your letter peeking from a corner of my in-tray today. I had received it a few weeks ago. No name, no address. All the envelope had was this crumpled piece of paper with the question "Why do we sometimes cry, smile and angry?" on it.

I had been really busy then, and not knowing what to do with it, had kept it in my in-tray because there was something about it that had struck me, in spite of the many 'Dear Editor' letters that I get.

And today, when I rediscovered your letter, I read it a couple of times more. You have asked an amazing question. Neither my writers nor I have the answer you're looking for.

I know there would be some nerdy scientist out somewhere who would be able to answer the question from a scientific point of view. But sometimes, scientific explanations take away the beauty of things. So I am gonna answer it the way I will. And I am answering your question here, because I cannot possibly publish the unscientific answer that I am about to give you.

Ok here goes (God help me.)

We cry. We smile. We get angry. That's because we are people. And people cry, smile and get angry. That's our thing. That's what makes us, well.... us.

I know I probably did not answer your question the way you wanted me to, but I still want to thank you for your letter.

Thank you for making me think about this.

And I hope no one tries to give you a scientific answer to your question. Ever.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Have you ever been so utterly lost in your thoughts that you realised that the bus you were staring at as it went right past you, was the one you were supposed to get onto?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

An apology

This is a public apology.

I want to extend my sincerest apologies to all the people to whom I've recommended the 'Piyu bole' song from the movie Parineeta.

I admit it. I got selfish.

But you have to forgive me. I was in misery. Utter misery. The song refused to get out of my system. I was playing it on loop almost all the time. When I wasn't playing it, I was singing it. When I wasn't singing it, I was humming it. When I wasn't humming it, I was singing it in my head. In case, you didn't know, that's the worst kind. I lost sleep because the song was always there in my head. If I got some sleep, I'd be dreaming about the song. It was driving me crazy.

It was as if the song had got a life of its own. And it was taking over mine.

I had to get over the song.
I had to get rid of the song.
I had to 'give' the song away.
I had to break up with the song.

So I recommended the song to all of you. Somehow I believed that it would help my situation -- as if sharing the song with others would somehow dilute the power it yielded over me. Maybe I was wrong. Now many of you are going through the same misery. And I want to apologise for it.

If it makes you feel any better, I'm doing no better. I tried to obsess over other songs in order to replace this with them. But I knew it -- all the others were rebounds. And a rebound will always be a rebound.

I decided to get back with the song.

I'm still listening to it. Are you?

Monday, May 09, 2005


This is a picture taken by one of my friends. One of my favourite pictures. Taken by one of my favourite people. This picture has so much to it. If I look at the sun, my eyes hurt. If I look at the water, I can hear the murmur of the ripples. If I look at the girl in the picture, I wonder what the expression on her face is like. Is she happy, is she sad?
What is she thinking?

I would have loved the picture even if it wasn't of me.

I'm just glad it's of me.


Sunday, May 08, 2005

Aankhon se aasuon ke marasim puraane hain...

I cried today. No, actually I bawled. I did not know why. I did not understand why. I did not know who the tears were for. Myself? Someone else? I try to figure it out, but I can't. All I feel is an entangled mess of emotions and I can't seem to pull the threads apart.

Maybe it was the rain.

Maybe it was the music I was playing.

Maybe it was sheer panic. The day when my friends would leave the country, is stealthily and mockingly approaching me.

Maybe I was missing my friends.

Or maybe, my loneliness just decided to put all of these together.

Shaam se aankh mein nami si hai...
Aaj phir aap ki kami si hai...
Waqt rehta nahin kahin tikkar...
Iski aadat bhi aadmi si hai...

Dil toh pagal hai

Once upon a time, there was this really cute guy in school who had a crush on me. He was totally gorgeous, but I did not show any interest. Firstly, because I'd met him only twice and I barely knew him (he was a friend's friend's friend). Secondly, I thought I liked someone else. And thirdly, I was leaving the city for good in less than a month.

Before leaving, I gave all my friends a nickname each. He came to meet me one last time. I gave him a nickname too, and apologised to him for breaking his heart and for not being able to reciprocate his feelings.

Now, seven years later, in one of the millions of mindless forwards I receive from one of my old friends, I happened to see that guy's name in the list of names the forward was sent to.

His email address was 'his-name_nick-I-gave-him@yahoo.com'.

I suddenly had this strange feeling of something tugging at my heart -- of not really knowing what to feel. And yet, feeling it.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Life begins

I discovered a folder of poems I'd written what seems like a million years ago.

I wonder what exactly was in my mind when I wrote this one...

Thorns hidden beneath a rose
Like little secrets that no one knows
Rip our hearts with a thousand pins
And that is where life begins...

Dreams take us too deep, too high
But when we rise to swim and fly
We're tied down, no wings, no fins
And that is where life begins...

It isn't the same as what the books show
sometimes you see what you didn't know
A smiling pauper, a gloomy prince
And that is where life begins...

The thousand pretty pictures we paint
Look in a mirror and you see a saint
But count and you find a thousand sins
And that is where life begins...

Under the very same sun, we burn

I've had mine, now it's your turn
The same thoughts, the different skins
And that is where life begins...

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Of cars and Sayesha

I'm bad at cars. Very bad. Really really bad.

I was telling a friend about my boss' flashy red sportscar.
He asked, "So what car is it?"

"Well, errr... flashy red sportscar?"
"No, I mean what model?"
"Well, errr... flashy red sportscar?"

I grinned like an idiot. I really had no more words to describe it.
I can't identify cars. I can't. I can't. I can't. I can only tell if a car looks cool or not. Now don't give me the raised eyebrow "Really??"! Do you know as much Bollywood as I do? Gotcha! Hah!

When I was young, my Dad was transferred to this tiny town for two years. The town was so tiny that everyone knew everyone else. Honestly! If you were out on the roads, you would invariably bump into someone you knew every 10 seconds or so, and you would have to stop and chat. Kinda like walking to the water cooler at work.

The town was so small that there was not much to put it on the map, and so my O and A level results made the townspeople very proud. I was considered kind of a mini-celebrity there, and the local papers would carry my photo and articles about me now and then.

That was the town where Dad tried to teach me how to drive. On weekends, Dad and I would set off early in the morning and I would drive the car around.

Till the day, I rammed the car into a shoe shop.

It was 5 in the morning, and so luckily the shop was closed. And nope, I did not hurt anybody. So stop grinning!

Later in the day, I went to a shop to buy something. The shopkeeper grinned at me in a very weird way. The following is in its original form in order to preserve the rustic nature of the conversation.

"Toh? Subah subah gaadi thonk diye joota ka dukaan mein?" He asked.
("So? Rammed the car into a shoe shop early in the morning?")

"Aapko kaise maaloom?" I looked at him suspiciously.
("How do you know?")

"Haha! Sabko maaloom hai!" He grinned again.
("Haha! Everyone knows!")

"Achha?? Isko bhi paper mein kaahe nahin chhap diye??" Yes, I was quite the hot-blooded teenager.
("Really? Why didn't you get this published in the papers as well??")

It was very annoying and very discouraging. I realised that a town where it was news if I sneezed, was not the best place to test-drive. So I gave up. I have not touched the wheel since.

I love long drives. But I believe I'll make a terrible driver. One of my friends supports this by saying, "You shouldn't be allowed to drive people around. You're too hyperactive to be a responsible driver." I have a feeling she's right.

But one of my cousins says, "It's the people who think they can't drive, that have the potential to be the best drivers. That's because they know the importance of driving well."

Ah, well. Maybe there is hope for Sayesha :)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Art on sand

During my last visit to India, I saw this guy at the Puri beach making a sand sculpture of Pope John Paul II. And the most amazing thing was that he had no references, it was all in his head.

I used to go to the beach every day. And every evening, he would be there, making something beautiful. Something different. A big crowd (which included me) would gather around him and watch him make it. Some would take pictures and videos.

Long after everyone had left, when it would get really dark, he would stay there and wait for his sculptures to get washed away by the waves. Invariably, they did. They were destined to get washed away. He could not make them further away from the sea because the amount of moisture in the sand is crucial to make the sculpture. And that depends on the distance of the sculpture from the sea. So he knew his works would eventually get destroyed. Within a few hours. Yet, he poured his heart into them as if they would stay immortalised in the sand forever. And he never took any photographs of his creations.

That evening, I waited with him to watched this one get washed away. It was very dark. And all you could hear was the sound of the waves, washing the sculpture away, bit by bit. I saw it happen. I almost cried. When it was no longer there, he left. To come back the next day and make another one.

Some people are just so talented... they may not leave any trace of their works behind, but they leave impressions wherever they go.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Just say it

Lately, I have been completely honest with people and myself. I have expressed my opinions and feelings more freely than I have ever had.

My cousin brother Sid and I had been having fights our entire childhood. Sometimes, things would get serious and other cousins would have to intervene. We would shout and declare how much we hated each other. We practically grew up hating each other.

Now we are both in our 20s. And yet, every time we meet, we still have our fights. One fine day I suddenly realised that in spite of all our fights, he is still my little brother and I do love him dearly. But I had never told him that expressly. So I decided to do it last week. At first, I was going to wait till his birthday to send him an email and tell him how much he meant to me. But I couldn't wait. There is no point looking for
occasions or excuses to say such things.

I have started telling people important to me how much I love them, and how much they matter to me. I am not afraid of being vulnerable, with my feelings out there in the open. I am not afraid of being laughed at.
I am not afraid of being misunderstood. What I feel is what I feel.

If someone matters to you, tell them. Just say it. Life's too short to hold yourself back. Or to wait for the right moment.


Monday, May 02, 2005

Love actually

I watched Love Actually yesterday. And it was not the chick flick I thought it would be.

I loved it. Actually :)

In some ways, it was very Bollywood-ish. It made me laugh. It made me cry. Like my favourite Bollywood movies do. But most of all -- it made me believe that love actually is all around us.

To me, the most striking scene in the movie was when Mark turned up at Juliet's door to tell her that he loved her. And he did that without saying a single word. I found myself thinking about that scene long after the movie was over. I wondered how he gathered the courage to confess his feelings to his best friend's wife. And somehow, the way he expressed it, his love did not seem 'wrong'.

I guess... love is of all kinds.

This song sums it up perfectly.

Humne dekhi hai in aankhon ki mehekti khushboo...
Haath se chhooke ise rishton ka ilzaam na do...
Sirf ehsaas hai yeh, rooh se mehsoos karo...
Pyaar ko pyaar hi rehne do, koi naam na do...

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Where have all the cowboys gone?

I recently got back in touch with my feminine side.

Well, that's 'cos I hang out in an all-guys-group. And they're all away on vacation. It's annoying how suddenly I have so much time in the weekend, and no idea what to do with it!

So here's what I've been upto.
I'm talking serious girly stuff here. Aerobics. Swimming. Herbal hair treatment. Face packs with cucumber slices. Manicures. Pedicures. Threading eyebrows myself. Watching SATC. Trying out new make-up. New accessories.

(Oh geez, how girly can I get?)

And oh, I discovered the perfectly painless epilator! I remember the time when I used my old epilator on a toe hair of one of my guy friends, just to let him have a taste of the pain gals go thru to get smooth legs and arms. I think he almost cried! Hahaha! Guy, when you come back, you gotta try this one and do a comparision study! :P

Come back soon, you morons! Without you, I'm turning into a girly girl! :O

Miss you guys :(